Sony cannot afford Square Enix and Take-Two Interactive for now

Well, there goes all the speculations that Sony is looking to make a mega move in response to the Activision Blizzard purchase anytime soon.

Just a few days ago, we reported on a rumor that Sony might buy Take-Two Interactive if Microsoft can purchase Activision Blizzard. Previously, other reports claimed that either Konami, Kojima Productions, or Square Enix are on Sony's radar.

Take-Two Interactive is worth at least four times than what Sony can afford at the moment.

Although Sony could technically still be on the market for certain acquisitions, it appears its pockets aren't deep enough to make a similarly-sized splash as Microsoft.

At the Morgan Stanley Technology Media and Entertainment conference (shoutout to TwistedVoxel for the transcription), Sony chief financial officer Hirotoki Totoki shared that the company only has around $5 billion left to spend for investments before 2024.

This officially puts Sony out of the hunt to buy Take-Two Interactive (19.63 billion), Square Enix (5.6 billion), and Konami (6.7 billion). Kojima Productions isn't out of the budget. The same goes for Ubisoft. But, Hideo Kojima is unlikely to sell out. At the same time, nobody reportedly wants anything to do with Ubisoft.

We can't discount the possibility that Square Enix could sell itself to Sony for a "lower" price.

Now, what does this all mean for Sony's acquisition strategy until it can replenish its coffers? Most likely, Sony will focus on buying individual video game developers as opposed to billion-dollar publishers.

Sony has also proven over the years that its third-party deals with other publishers are more than enough to guarantee that it has market share. Case in point, its strong working relationship with Square Enix will result in Final Fantasy 16 coming out as a PS5 exclusive with likely no PC port and Xbox port in sight for at least six months.

The same should be the case for the FF7 Remake sequel, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, as well as the much-maligned Forspoken.

Sony also has similar ties with Konami and Capcom, which is why the Silent Hill 2 remake is exclusive to the PS5 and the VR mode for the upcoming Resident Evil 4 Remake is exclusive to the PSVR2.

Ubisoft is still within the budget for Sony although we don't think it'll buy a company that hasn't been in good shape for a while.

Of course, $5 billion is still a big amount. Sony could use it to top its Bungie acquisition from last year. It could also buy a "smaller" publisher or studio. FromSoftware is definitely up on the said list. But, Sony already owns a part of FromSoftware, so there's that.

It's also possible for Sony to invest its remaining budget in acquiring studios to make games for the PSVR2 as it waits for a much larger infusion of cash to go after bigger companies once the Activision Blizzard purchase is complete.

At the end of the day, only Sony knows what it wants to do with its money, but we're hoping its decisions today can put it one step closer to competing with Microsoft in a future when Call of Duty likely becomes exclusive to the Xbox, despite claims by the company that this move doesn't make financial sense.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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